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Deer in the pasture

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  • Deer in the pasture

    So for some reason the baby deer in my area tend to prefer the grass in my pastures. The grass is actually more lush outside the pasture.

    Should I be worried. Worms? Other diseases?

    I wish I had a jumper with as good of form as the deer. He only comes waist high (8 hands?) and yet he jumps the fence effortlessly.


  • #2
    Deer feeding

    Well, Whitetail deer like the tender grass, but are mostly browsers and like (oak best) leaves and tender branches better. We plant CLOVER, alfalfa, rape, turnips and "grass" for the deer we raise in pens. If you have any type of clover in the pastures they will eat it and tell all of their friends.

    You don't have to worry about parasites from deer causing a problem with the horses or other livestock.

    We raise PA Whitetails in pens, along with horses side by side and the deer like the leaves off alfalfa and leave the stems. We put the stems they leave in the feeder out in the horse pasture and the horses love that.

    The deer grain mix is almost the same as a higher protein horse textured feed, in case you put grain out for the horses.

    The deer will also come to areas you have left salt blocks for the horses, as they need that, too.

    If you want to keep them OUT of the pasture, I suggest putting a 50 # salt block on the OUTSIDE of the pasture, which will attract them to that place.

    In order to harvest alfalfa for HAY, we have planted special DEER CLOVER (Imperial Whitetail) in our highest field nearest the mountain to draw the deer AWAY from our alfalfa fields, as they MOW it close, like the LAWN at the house!

    They leap through or over our HT fence with racks and never miss.


    • #3
      We have two groups of deer that often graze in our big pasture--I also enjoy watching them float over the fences! Sometimes they slip through the strands--it's electrified rope--but now that it's been "on" most of the summer they choose to jump more often than not.

      Before we built this place, it was deer paradise here. I don't begrudge them a meal on what used to be their home.
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I also have deer that seem to prefer inside the fenced pasture and I guess I think of it as deer proofing my horses. I've always had deer there but every year there seems to be less and less. They are kind of bold around me, get rather close, and the bucks are getting quite a rack. I've probably watched them grow up. I just recently heard on Animal Planet that there are a lot of people gored by the deer's antlers, wow. I would have never guessed.

        It seems that some deer even choose to set up residence in my pastures. Maybe they feel safer with more herding animals around, horses, deer, what's the diff, eh? One big party.


        • Original Poster

          Good suggestions msfarab, I'll try the salt block idea. I will also put down more clover seeds outside of the pasture.

          The deer do seem to be friendly to the horses. One baby saw my pony grazing outside of the pasture (too old to run away). She went up to within 10 feet of her. Then the deer got scared when my pony raised her head to see what was there :-)



          • #6
            Well I decided to be as nice to the deer as I can. This doe NOT include free access to my tomatoes so now we have a garden area with healthy thriving 'maters etc, and three strands of hot wire.
            I have planted clover in places, but I did not know that deer had a preference. Would a feed store (Not SSC) know what this is? We have red and yellow (I thought it was pretty) will bees think the same of it?
            Sorry to attempt a highjacking of the thread.


            • #7
              I like the deer but I do worry about lepto.

              Like the other posters say, give them their own big salt "lick" and some grass and clover outside of the pasture.

              They probably also know that they are safer with horses than outside the pasture.

              HHorses, your county extension agent, agric. dept., can ID your clover and grasses. Or the people at the Home Depot garden dept.


              • #8
                Deer in pasture

                My gelding almost died from being gored by a buck. He developed a bad infection that the deer carry on their antlers. It was in the drought and the buck wanted to drink from the trough and he and the gelding got into it. Just wanted to warn you of this possibility.


                • #9
                  I have deer in my pasture on a regular basis. Yes, they can carry lepto, but so can your barn cat. Other problems include ticks, and deer are an intermediate host for tapeworms, I think. All manageable, and how the heck can you keep them out, without building 7 foot high fences anyway?
                  My Equestrian Art Photography page


                  • #10
                    Never have had a problem with them in the pastures (we have a goodsize, but managed herd) They do, however love grazing the airstrip on that side of the property, so a fly-by is necessary sometimes before landing.

                    I'm getting excited about the upcoming deer season, after driving across the road yesterday afternoon and seeing 7 in one soybean field and one huge loner way in the distance that I am almost certain is the big 8 point hubby let walk last year.

                    We do have one big old doe that hangs out close to the barn. She's as old as Methuselah and has twin fawns every year. She seems to know that no one will bother her.
                    Crayola posse~ orange yellow, official pilot
                    Proud owner of "High Flight" & "Shorty"


                    • Original Poster

                      I don't need to worry about the water troughs. The deer have two ponds with good water on our property - Plus many, many more a short distance away.



                      • #12
                        What is lepto?

                        Probably stupid question, but I'm not familiar with deer & their issues.
                        I have a very sweet deer that often grazes with my horses. It stays very close and often almost looks as it's part of the herd. I think of it as cute.

                        Now I'm worried, what is lepto? And how does it relate to horses? What's the danger in it? Thanks!


                        • #13
                          Since I had a dog die of lepto when I was much younger, I'll tell you what I know. It is a disease carried in the urine of rats and mice around here, and when other animals come in contact with it, they can get it. Altho dogs do get the lepto shot, there are several types of lepto (I'll let a vet speak to that.)
                          Animals can get it from urine of another animal who has it.
                          Lepto caused my manchester terrier to have kidney failure, and he had to be catherized for weeks and died despite medications, etc.
                          In horses it can cause equine recurrent uveitis.
                          Deer whiz (urinate) in pastures, horses can then ingest the lepto.
                          leptospirosis, if I spelled it correctly. I think it is bacterial if I remember correctly, but google it and make sure.
                          Google it for a better explanation. I give the dogs annual lepto shots in combo with other shots, never had a cat with it though. I can pass in urine from one dog to another (we think that is how my dog got it) or from deer to horse.
                          Last edited by cloudyandcallie; Jul. 9, 2009, 08:18 AM. Reason: typo


                          • #14
                            Funny that this topic should come up now. Just last night I saw that my motion lights down at the barn were on and so I looked out to see if it was set off by an equine escapee. Nope, just a HUGE doe walking around checking out the different sections of overgrown grass. She even wandered through the 'people gate' into the backyard and discovered the crab apple tree that has dropped a few specimans. This may not sound too special, but I am surrounded by conservation land, all open, combo wooded and meadow. It just never fails to amuse me that the deer willingly jump the fence into an enclosed area. Even last winter, I had a small herd of 3 does and various offspring, choose to sleep in my backyard vs. the woods (on the other side of the fence).
                            R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
                            36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever


                            • #15
                              We have lots of deer to use our pastures and never has there been any problem with the horses, however if you have goats you need to be aware of Meningeal Worm infections.
                              These worms cause no harm whatsoever to deer but tend to get a bit confused when they hatch out in a goat and migrate all over. Most damage to spine and brain.
                              Those yucky little slug things are required to infect a goat (accidently swallowed) from what I understand.

                              We've had three to become infected. Two recovered completely and one did not. She dragged one hind leg and was unbalanced for the remainder of her life. VERY prompt treatment leads to the best outcome.
                              You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                              • #16
                                Thx cloudyandcallie, I had never heard of this and I will indeed google it.

                                Perhaps I'm not all that enthusiastic about pasture-visiting deer anymore....


                                • #17
                                  Well rats or mice or dogs can whiz (urinate for the precise) and transfer lepto.................so it's whether or not the immune system is compromised. (My dog Joe had been emasculated and disemboweled a few years before he contracted lepto.) And there are several strains, some of which are not covered by the vaccine for dogs, and my vet says no vaccine for horses.
                                  So use immune boosters and omega 3's and enjoy the deer.